Lipoma on the back of the neck, lipoma on the chest, and scalp lipoma are conditions that millions of people live with worldwide. In fact, about 1 out of every 1000 people will end up with a lipoma bump sometime in their life.
What is Lipoma?
Lipoma is a benign fatty lump under the skin. It’s technically called a benign tumor—but don’t let this worry you because lipoma is usually harmless.
What About The Bump?
The bump is easily movable and about two inches wide or less. Some lipomas can grow to giant size, but this is extremely rare. As for the people who do develop a lipoma lump, it’s an easy fix for a dermatologist.
How is Lipoma Treated?
Lipomas are mostly painless and harmless. So, it’s usually not medically necessary to remove it. But if it bothers you cosmetically, there are several options to help you get rid of it. These include creating a small cut to remove it surgically, drawing the fat out through liposuction, or using steroids to shrink the bump.
What Age Group Gets Lipoma Most?
Most people who develop a lipoma bump are in their fourth, fifth, and sixth decade of life (between 40-60 years old). Although lipoma is more common in the older population, it’s possible to grow one at any age.
What Causes Lipoma?
Experts don’t fully understand the cause of lipoma, though they think it runs in families. Some conditions increase your risk of developing lipoma. These include Cowden Syndrome, Gardner’s Syndrome, adiposis dolorosa, and Madelung’s disease.
Where Do Lipomas Grow?
Lipomas can develop on different body parts. This includes lipoma on the back of the neck, lipoma on the chest, and scalp lipoma. Lipoma is common on the shoulders, arms, and thighs.
What Are The Different Types Of Lipoma?
There are more than half a dozen different types of lipoma. They’re characterized by the fat, blood, tissue, and nerve cells within them. These include:
- Conventional lipoma: contains white fat.
- Hibernoma: contains brown fat.
- Angiolipoma: contains many blood vessels.
- Myelolipoma: has fat that makes blood cells.
- Fibrolipoma: has fat and fibrous tissues.
- Spindle cell lipoma: has fat with rod-shaped cells.
- Pleomorphic lipoma: fat cells of various sizes and shapes.
- Atypical lipoma: contains deeper fat with a larger number of cells.
How is Lipoma Diagnosed?
Lipoma is usually diagnosed with a physical exam. But sometimes, especially if cancer is suspected, your dermatologist can order tests that include:
- A biopsy tissue sample for lab testing.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Computed Tomography (CT) scan
Liposarcoma vs Lipoma
It’s essential to see your dermatologist if you have a bump. Although lipoma is primarily harmless, your doctor needs to assess the lump to make sure it’s not liposarcoma, which is a more aggressive tumor that’s cancerous. Liposarcoma is a fatty tumor. It grows quickly and is often painful. It’s also rigid and harder to move than lipoma.
If You Think You Have Lipoma
A diagnosis is the first step toward treatment and recovery from lipoma. If you have a bump that you think could be a lipoma, schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly dermatologists to assess and diagnose the lump. You’ll work together to decide if you’re more comfortable leaving it alone or if you’d like your dermatologist to remove it.
Lipoma is a benign fatty bump under your skin that’s less than two inches wide, easily movable, and mostly painless. However, a lipoma can look like liposarcoma, which is a fatty cancerous tumor. If you find a lump on your body, it’s vital to let your dermatologist evaluate it.